NFL Signs Sports Betting Deals With Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel

NFL Flag on Field

The National Football League (NFL) announced on Thursday that it has inked deals with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel to become the league’s official sports betting partners.

Caesars will remain as the NFL’s official casino sponsor and will be called upon to create content and opportunities for customer engagement using its nationwide network of retail sportsbooks. DraftKings is renewing its role as the league daily sports fantasy partner and will integrate content across NFL media channels. FanDuel meanwhile, will have access to league footages and will work with the NFL on pre-game integration opportunities via the NFL Network.

Said Renie Anderson, the NFL’s chief revenue officer and executive director of partnerships:

“As the sports betting landscape has continued to evolve in the United States, we have been thoughtful with our strategy and are excited to announce three partners who share the NFL’s vision and goals. Working closely with Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel, we will provide fans new and different ways of interacting and engaging with the sport they love.”

Exclusive Access to NFL Trademarks

By virtue of the agreement, the United States’ top three largest sportsbook operators will have exclusive access to the use of the official NFL trademarks with their retail and online sports betting operations. The sportsbook operators will also engage NFL fans in free-to-play games.

The three major sportsbooks are also allowed to integrate sports betting content directly to the NFL’s media properties including its website NFL.com and its mobile app, the NFL App. The financial terms of the deals were not revealed but sources told ESPN that they are all five-year deals which will net the NFL an estimated amount just shy of $1B combined.

Against Sports Betting

The NFL was once one of the staunchest opposition to the legalization of sports betting. It vehemently fought New Jersey’s attempt to overturn a ban on legal sports betting in the United States, claiming that betting on their games could affect the integrity of their games.

But New Jersey won a Supreme Court decision in 2018 to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, paving the way for the legalization of sports betting in the U.S. Two years later, nearly half of the U.S. states have legalized sports betting in their jurisdiction. With the change in landscape, the NFL finally took advantage of its popularity by cashing in as well.

Indiana Grand Set to Undergo $32M Expansion

Indiana Grand Casino Logo With Property Images
Caesars Entertainment announced plans to expand Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville. The $32M project is set to begin in two weeks and is expected to be completed before the end of the year with Indianapolis-based Wilhelm Construction contracted to work on the project.

The expansion will add 25,000 square feet to the racino’s gaming floor, which in turn will allow an additional 100 slot machines and 25 table games. It is also expected to create 100 new jobs for the Indiana casino industry.

Per Mike Rich, senior vice president and general manager of Indiana Grand:

“Since the implementation of table games in early 2020, we have looked forward to expanding our gaming operations, This growth will allow us to accommodate more guests and add more talented team members to the Indiana Grand family.”

World Class Poker Room

Part of the expansion is the creation of a 5,000 square foot World Series of Poker-themed poker room with 20 tables. However, the connection of its poker room to the poker series is more than just branding. It will allow players to actually qualify for World Series of Poker tournaments.

Likewise, Caesars also said that new hospitality, entertainment, and restaurants in the Indiana casino will be announced in the coming months as these are still subject to the approval of the city of Shelbyville and the Indiana Gaming Commission.

One of Indiana’s Most Lucrative Casinos

The Indiana Grand is one of the largest and most lucrative Indiana casinos. According to data from the Indiana Gaming Commission, the racino currently operates with a total of 1,084 slot machines and 61 tables games. Once the planned expansion is complete, only Horseshoe Hammond will have more table games among Indiana casinos.

With racinos finally allowed to offer live table games in 2020, the Indiana Grand generated more than $30M in tax revenues for the Hoosier State. That contribution ranked only second to Horseshoe Hammond’s $49.7M remittance, per information from the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Commitment to Indiana

According to Caesars President and COO Anthony Carano, the company’s investment in the Indiana Grand is a “testament to Caesars Entertainment’s commitment to Indiana.” When the Eldorado merger was consummated last year, Caesars was stipulated to keep only two properties in the state. The company retained Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park in Anderson, both racinos and located within a half-hour drive from Indianapolis.

Caesars reached a deal to sell Tropicana Evansville to Bally’s Entertainment last fall and last December, it announced an agreement with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for the sale of Caesars Southern Indiana in Elizabeth. Caesars now needs to find a buyer for Horseshoe Hammond.

William Hill Mobile is the Latest Online Sportsbook to Launch in Virginia

State of Virginia Made out of Money With Sportsbook Background

William Hill Mobile became the latest Virginia sports betting operator after launching on Wednesday.

Partnered with Caesar Entertainment’s Caesars Casino in Virginia, William Hill Mobile is one of the leading online sportsbooks in the United States. It’s launch is just in time for Sunday’s Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay. The Super Bowl is considered as the biggest betting event annually in the United States.

Said William Hill President of Digital Kenneth Fuchs:

“Just in time for Sunday’s Game, our Virginia app will give football fans over 1,000 ways to bet this incredible matchup, from the opening coin toss to whether the game will be decided in overtime.”

Live in 10 U.S. Jurisdictions

The William Hill Mobile app is now live in a total of 10 U.S. jurisdictions, namely Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. It also operates the trading services for the Rhode Island Lottery mobile app.

WIlliam Hill entered the Mid-Atlantic region in 2020 via its partnerships with the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, and Washington Mystic. By virtue of those affiliations, William Hill became the first sports betting company to operate inside a U.S. sports venue at the Capitol One Arena.

Operators Could Reach 20 in the Future

Virginia legalized sports betting in 2020 after a long legislative process. Legal Virginia sports betting was finally launched last January 21, 2021 with FanDuel went live on the launch date, earning the exclusive opening day rights because of its partnership with the NFL’s Washington Football Team. DraftKings followed on January 24, 2021 while BetMGM and BetRivers rolled out on January 27th.

State law allows up to 12 Virginia sports betting operators. However, this number could go up to 20 in the future with five proposed casinos in the state and two sports teams currently without sportsbook partners. These are not counted towards the maximum number of Virginia sports betting operators.

The Silver Legacy Resort in Reno is Set for a Major Upgrade

Reno Nevada

Caesars Entertainment has been busy over the past few years. This massive casino company is working hard to renovate some of its most popular gambling venues. New reports claim that the Silver Legacy Resorts in Reno, owned by Caesars, is set for a major upgrade in the near future.

It’s great news for residents and tourists with trips planned to Reno. Today, we’ll talk about what is being planned for this property. We’ll also look at some of the other plans for Nevada in the future.

Here’s what we know!

Caesars Entertainment Continues Working to Expand

The past ten months have been extraordinarily difficult for major US casino companies. Despite that fact, Caesars Entertainment has been working extremely hard to expand its operations. It seemed to begin after the company’s huge merger with Eldorado Resorts.

This was one of the biggest moves for the US casino industry in history. Eldorado paid an astounding $17.3 billion to acquire this company. That makes it the largest casino company purchase to ever take place in the country.

In order to push this deal forward, Caesars and Eldorado were forced to sell many of their casinos around the country. That includes several in Atlantic City. The money earned from these sales helped the newly-merged company cover costs associated with the deal.

Officials within Caesars haven’t slowed down since this merger. Last year, news broke that the company had agreed to purchase William Hill. This gives Caesars a massive new hold over the US sports betting industry.

Caesars has always been a huge player in the US casino industry. It’s quickly becoming one of the most powerful gambling companies in the world now. Many expect more major deals to be announced with this company over the next few years.

As many know, Caesars Entertainment owns a major gaming property in Reno. It now appears the company is planning a major renovation for this venue.

A Renovation is Being Planned for the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno

Reno is a popular gambling and tourist destination in northern Nevada. It’s a fun city filled with several world-class gambling venues. Like other US casino hubs, Reno has been facing a steep decrease in tourism and revenue throughout the past year.

Some feel that things are set to improve here soon, though. Several analysts claim that with effective vaccine distribution, Reno could quickly see a steep increase in its tourism numbers. That’s great news for the casino companies operating here.

You can add Caesars Entertainment to that list. This company operates the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, which first opened its doors in 1995. This week, Caesars announced that it is planning an astounding $47 million renovation for this venue.

Silver Legacy Regional President and General Manager Glenn Carano spoke to the media about the company’s plans this week.

“We want to give guests a visit to remember when they stay with us at Silver Legacy,” he said. “Part of that memorable experience includes one of the most important elements to a trip: the hotel accommodations.”

Caesars wouldn’t be making this move unless they felt it would be profitable. It’s clear that the company feels that Reno will soon begin seeing a large increase in visitors. Some of the expected renovations for Silver Legacy Resort can be seen below.

  • Installing new hardwood furniture.
  • Updated window treatments and drapery.
  • Renovations of the bathrooms with new tile.
  • Replacing the carpets and flooring.
  • Installing new art and decor pieces.
  • Self-serve coffee makers, updated lounge seating and flat-screen, high-definition televisions.

This renovation process should be completed sometime in the near future. We’ll continue offering updates over the next few months!

When Will Tourism Rates Begin to Increase in Las Vegas

There has been a huge amount of attention placed on the Las Vegas economy over the past year. 2020 proved to be devastating for this city. That’s almost entirely due to the significant drop in tourism here.

Casinos are doing everything they can to boost the city’s tourism rates. It’s much easier said than done, though. Many are now cautiously optimistic that the city will finally begin seeing large numbers of tourists coming later this year.

Much like Reno, Las Vegas is relying on vaccines to help with things. It seems likely that this would help the entire country’s travel industry. Anything is possible, however, and casino owners are now getting ahead of themselves.

In the past, Las Vegas saw approximately 40 million visitors every single year. Will 2021 bring about those kinds of numbers? Probably not.

If everything goes according to plan, we could begin seeing a major improvement by the time summer rolls around. This is generally the most popular time for visitors to enter the city. Hopefully, we see that trend begin around this time.

Are you excited to see the renovations at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno? Let us know in the comments section below!

Caesars’ Clears Antitrust Period For William Hill Takeover

Caesars Entertainment Logo
Caesars Entertainment announced on Monday that it has cleared the federal anti-trust waiting period for its pending $3.7B purchase of U.K. based online bookmaker William Hill.

The waiting period is a period of time when mergers and acquisitions are examined for potential antitrust issues and conflicts. It is also a requirement under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. On Monday, the Las Vegas based gambling operator announced the early termination of that waiting period effective December 28, 2020. In a statement, Caesars also said:

“Caesars continues to progress through obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals required to close the transaction and is still aiming to complete the proposed combination in March 2021.”

Pending Approvals

Caesars Entertainment also revealed on Monday that both the Mississippi Gaming Commission and the West Virginia Lottery have signed off on the petition on November 19 and December 16, respectively.

However, approvals need to be obtained from the remaining gaming commissions of Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Similarly, the transaction also requires the approval of the English High Court as well as administrative and post-closing approvals from other U.S. agencies.

Shareholders Approval

Just over a month ago, William Hill shareholders voted to approve its takeover by Caesars Entertainment. 86%of the votes cast were in favor of the $3.7B merger. The shareholders of the British firm accepted the recommended 272p cash offer from Caesars by the requisite majorities, subject to the remaining outstanding regulatory conditions and final approval of the English Court.

William Hill US has more than 170 retail locations across 13 U.S. states and owns 29% of the market share in the United States sports betting industry. Analysts estimate that the merger could add some $2.5B in equity to Caesars which operates a total of 54 gaming properties across 16 states. It currently owns 20% of William Hill USA as a result of a previous deal.

Caesars Completes Sale of Eldorado Shreveport to Bally’s Corp.

Caesars Entertainment Logo
Caesars Entertainment completed its sale of Eldorado Shreveport to Bally’s corporation last week to satisfy the stipulation imposed by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year after its merger with Eldorado.

The $17.3 merger created the largest gamblig company in the United States. The FTC required the surviving entity to dispose some of its casinos in markets that presented anti-trust issues. In Louisiana, Caesars was to sell Belle of Baton Rogue and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack in Bossier City along with Eldorado Shreveport. The sale of the two other Louisiana casinos are still pending.

Said Caesars CEO Tom Reeg of the sale:

“Since our acquisition of the property 15 years ago, our team members’ passion and commitment have driven our success in Shreveport. We wish all of them continued success under Bally’s ownership.”

Important For Bally’s Corp.

The $140M purchase is important for Bally’s for several reasons. First, it aids the Rhode Island-based gambling company’s geographical diversification efforts, also diversifying its revenue source while diluting the concentration on its home market. The acquisition also enabled Bally’s to enter the 5th largest betting market in the United States, which is expected to boom even more with the approval of sports betting in the state.

After sealing the Shreveport deal, Bally’s now has a total of 11 casinos across seven different states, one horse track, 13 off track betting licenses in Colorado. With still other pending deals waiting to be completed, Bally’s is expected to control 14 gambling properties in 10 different states when all is said and done.

Not The First Buyer

While Bally’s is the company that closed the deal, it wasn’t the first buyer for the Louisiana casino. It can be recalled that last January, Eldorado announced that it would be selling the Shreveport property to Maverick Gaming LLC for $230M. However, that deal collapsed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

ERC then struck a deal with Twin River Worldwide Holdings, the predecessor of Bally’s last April. Twin River spent $20M for the control of the Bally name, brand, and intellectual property. Last month, Twin River completed the $25M acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City. Shares of Bally closed at $49.14 or up by $1.66 after the announcement of the completion of the Shreveport deal.

Eastern Bank of Cherokee Indians To Purchase Caesars Southern Indiana For $280M

Caesars Southern Indiana Casino Image
Caesars Entertainment has entered into an agreement to divest Caesars Southern Indiana to The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for $280M. In an announcement, the Las Vegas-based gambling company said that it is extending the Caesars brand to one of its long-time partners.

Said Caesars Entertainment Inc. CEO Tom Reeg:

“Expanding our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is an exciting event for Caesars Entertainment. Since our partnership began back in 1996, we have admired their growth and the success of their properties.”

The Caesars Southern Indiana opened in 1998 as the Horseshoe Southern Indiana, a riverboat casino on the Ohio River. It became a $90M 100,000 square foot land-based casino in 2019 under Caesars. But after the latter’s $17.3B merger with Eldorado, Caesars was ordered to sell the Indiana casino by December 31st.

Extending Their Long-Standing Relationship

The sale of the Indiana casino is expected to close in the third business quarter of 2021. After the closing of the transaction, Caesars and EBCI will extend their long-standing relationship by entering into a long-term agreement for the continued use of the Caesars brand and Caesars Rewards Loyalty Program at Caesars Southern Indiana.

In addition, the EBCI will enter into a new lease agreement with a year one rental of $32.5M with VICI who maintains the ownership of the real estate. As a result of this transaction, Caesars’ annual payments to VICI Properties under the regional master lease will be decreased by $32.5M.

A Sovereign Nation

J.P. Morgan and Watkins LLP will represent Caesars Entertainment in the sale of the Indiana casino. Meanwhile, Innovation Capital LLC and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck will represent the Eastern Band of Cherokee indians. The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a sovereign nation. As such, it has its own laws, elections, government, institutions, and the likes. The own and operate two casinos in North Carolina. The tribe operates two casinos in North Carolina.

$325M Renovation To Transform Harrah’s To Caesars New Orleans

Poker Chip and Roulette and Casino Card Background

The iconic Harrah’s star will be replaced by Caesars’ golden laurel in 2024.

In an announcement last Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment revealed a $325M renovation and expansion that will transform Harrah’s New Orleans to Caesars New Orleans by 2024. The renovation was agreed upon last year as part of the company’s deal with the Louisiana Legislature to extend Caesars’ license to operate the casino until 2054. However, as part of the approval process, it still needs to go through the New Orleans Building Corporation.

Said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg:

“We are excited to introduce Caesars New Orleans to the city. As the only land-based gaming operator in the city, we take great pride in our 20-year history in New Orleans, and this reinvestment is a testament to our continued commitment.”

Preliminary Plans

According to Caesars Entertainment, they will add an all-new 340-room hotel tower to the property. Aside from the hotel tower, Harrah’s will get a new carport or “valet porte cochere” at its existing entrance at the intersection of Canal Street and Convention Center Boulevard. New culinary and hospitality offerings will also be introduced within the New Orleans casino. There will also be additional developments in the unoccupied second floor of the New Orleans casino which will be announced later. Per Harrah’s GM Samir Mowad:

“What was shared today is only the beginning of a transformation.”

Caesars Entertainment also said that it wants to offer additional entertainment options aside from gambling at the site. Harrah’s had a 2,200 capacity music venue called Fillmore New Orleans but that venue has been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Second Major Project

Caesars’ venture is the second major hospitality-related project to the end of Canal Street. Directly towards the street towards the Mississippi River is the $530M conversion of the former World Trade Center to the upscale Four Seasons hotel and condominium complex which is near its completion. The Las Vegas-based casino group said that the New Orleans project will create 600 jobs during its construction phase and it will employ around 500 full-time jobs once the project is completed in 2024, when its 30-year license renewal begins.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell expressed her excitement over the project:

“We are excited that this expansion will mean hundreds of construction jobs during the project and hundreds more in sustainable and new jobs post-construction. The addition of Caesars New Orleans will strengthen our city’s position as the top cultural and entertainment destination city in the nation.”

The merger between Caesars and Eldorado Resorts last July formed the largest gambling group in the United States. The $17.3B takeover process took a year and it included an order from Federal regulators to the merged company to sell several of its casino properties including the Eldorado Casino Resort in Shreveport.

Caesars Entertainment to Sell Belle of Baton Rogue

Louisiana State Flag With a Casino Background
Caesars Entertainment Inc announced on Tuesday that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell the Belle of Baton Rogue to CQ Holdings, Inc.

Caesars owns the operating rights to the Louisiana casino but the property is owned by Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc. Pursuant to the terms of the amended lease agreement with GLPI, Baton Rogue will be removed from GLPI Master Lease and the rent payments to GLPI will remain unchanged. GLIP will retain the ownership of the real estate of Belle of Baton Rogue.

Said Caesars Entertainment Inc. CEO Thomas Reeg in a statement:

“I want to thank all of our Baton Rouge Team Members for their hard work and dedication, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish them the best under Casino Queen’s ownership.”

Third Casino Sold in Louisiana

The Belle of Baton Rouge is one of the 15 riverboat casinos in the Pelican State. It was operated by Eldorado Resorts, the company which merged with Caesars Entertainment in a massive $17.3B transaction last July. It is currently selling several resorts across different markets to comply with anti-competitive rules brought up by state regulators and the Federal Trade Commission.

In Louisiana, Caesars Entertainment has sold Eldorado Shreveport along with the operations of MontBleu Resort Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada to Bally’s Corporation for a combined $155M. It also disposed Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack to Rubico Acquisition Corp for $22M. Those two deals are still pending although agreements have been reached.

Fifth Largest Gaming Market

Once the sale of Eldorado Shreveport, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, and Belle of Baton Rogue are completed, Caesars Entertainment will still have three casinos in the state. Harrah’s New Orleans, which is the only land-based Louisiana casino for now, and two riverboat casinos, namely the Horseshoe Bossier City, and Isle of Capri Lake Charles.

Louisiana is the fifth biggest gaming market in the United States and an key area for several national casino operators at a time when Las Vegas is still sluggish due to the pandemic. Last month, voters in the Pelican state approved legal sports betting by an overwhelming vote. As one of the largest Louisiana casino operators, Caesars is expected to capitalize on that.

Caesars Gets One Year Reprieve For Horseshoe Casino Sale

Casino Roulette Table
The Indiana Gaming Commission has granted Caesars Entertainment more time to sell the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.

On Monday, the IGC unanimously agreed to give Caesars a one-year reprieve to sell the Indiana casino. The commissioners sided with IGC executive director Sarah Tait who opined that selling the Horseshoe Casino right now “presents unique challenges” that include the uncertainty over the gaming expansion in illinois and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gaming industry in general.

She mentioned the lease agreement on the property as one of the reasons. The rapid expansion of the Illinois gaming market on the Chicago area of the region. Likewise, Trait mentioned the pandemic causing uncertainty in the gaming market.

Per Tait:

“Granting relief regarding divestiture timing is in the best interest of the state and local community, and will not negatively impact operations at the property.”

Complying With IGC’s Stipulations

The Horseshoe Casino is one of three Indiana casinos that the gaming giant must sell to comply with the IGC’s stipulations for El Dorado’s $17.3B acquisition of Caesars. The sales was directed to prevent an “undue economic concentration of the state’s gaming industry following the merger.

Last month, Caesars announced the sale of Tropicana Evansville to Twin River Worldwide Holdings for $480M. Earlier this month, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians signed a letter of intent that gives the North Carolina tribal nation a 45-day period to buy Caesars Southern Indiana.

Caesars is retaining Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand. The two racinos are the only properties that are situated less than an hour away from Indianapolis. Aside from that, state legislature has allowed the two tracks to offer table games this year. Caesars is planning to infuse a combined $60M to add more table games to both spots

Biggest Casino in the State

The Horseshoe Casino is the biggest Indiana casino. Located less than a mile from Chicago and the state line of Illinois, it has 2,135 electronic games and 1,105 table positions which are the most by any Indiana casino.

Per the Gaming Commission’s annual report, the Horseshoe Casino generated a revenue of $309.3M during the fiscal year. That amount is $85M more than the income of the second-largest Indiana casino. It also generated $99.8M in taxes which was nearly double the $51.1M paid by the Indiana Grand.

Horseshoe’s $24.9M in local development agreement funding outpaced the next closest Indiana casinos combined. Hotel Lawrenceburg, Tropicana, and Ameristar East Chicago which have a total of $23.1M.